Roasted vegetable and spinach lasagne

Thursday, 24 March 2016
Vegan Roasted Vegetable and Spinach Lasagne

I'm calling this one a classic with a twist. Lasagne has always been one of my favourites and used to always be my meal of choice at an Italian. It was actually one of the first proper meals I learned to cook too. My dad taught me before I went away to university so I'd at least know how to cook one decent meal. Of course, we cooked it the traditional way using mince and white sauce, but I remember it well and how proud I was when it came out the oven and actually tasted good. A few years on when I started to eat less meat I created a veggie lasagne with ricotta cheese, which I loved a lot, but now that I'm vegan I wanted to see if I could make a version that was just as delicious as its meat and vegetarian counterparts. I used a creamy cauliflower sauce as the white sauce and I think it worked really well because this is possibly the best lasagne I have ever made, and me and lasagne go way back so that's saying something. 

Vegan Roasted Vegetable and Spinach Lasagne

You will need (serves 4-6, depending on how big you like your portions):
for the red sauce 
2 carrots
1 onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 cup vegetable stock
2 teaspoons basil
a dash of chilli flakes

for the roasted vegetables
1 aubergine
1 courgette
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
1 teaspoon paprika
ground pepper

for the white sauce 
1 head cauliflower
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
ground pepper, to taste

whole wheat lasagne sheets
vegan cheese to top (optional)

for the white sauce 
- Start by making the white sauce. Chop the cauliflower into florets and then add all the ingredients, apart from the nutritional yeast, to a large pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes until the cauliflower is quite soft.
- Put the mixture into a blender adding the nutritional yeast and blend until smooth. Leave this to the side while you prepare the red sauce.

for the red sauce
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Chop up all the vegetables - the onion and carrot into small chunks and the courgette and aubergine into bigger chunks.
- Put the onion into a large pot and add a little olive oil. Fry the onion over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes and then add the garlic and carrot and fry for a further 2 minutes until all the vegetables have softened.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, basil and chilli flakes and leave this to simmer over a low heat while you roast the rest of the vegetables.
- Put the chunks of aubergine and courgette into a bowl and mix together with the olive oil, herbs, paprika and ground pepper until everything is coated. Transfer the vegetables to a roasting tin and pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove from the oven and give a good mix before adding the halved cherry tomatoes and putting back in the oven for the remaining time.
- Once the vegetables are roasted, add these to the red sauce and mix well. Leave this to simmer for a further 10-15 minutes so all the flavours can combine. 

to assemble the lasagne
- Once the red sauce is ready, you can start to assemble the lasagne. Start with a layer of red sauce followed by a layer of spinach leaves then a layer of white sauce and then the lasagne sheets. Repeat this twice and then finish with a layer of white sauce and top with vegan cheese.
- Put the lasagne into the oven at 180 degrees celsius and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Vegan Roasted Vegetable and Spinach Lasagne

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